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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

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102                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
of the building, but left standing the narthex, the gallery
above it, and the lower part of the walls of the church, Consequently, the upper part of the building, the apse,
the dome-arches, the dome-vault, and the dome with its drum, belong to the reconstruction of the church after that earthquake.
The buttresses to the apse where it joins the main eastern wall are later additions, and still later, but before Turkish times, are the short walls at the north and south-eastern corners forming the small eastern chambers.
Of the building erected by Constantine the Great the only possible vestige is the square projection at the northeastern angle of the apse, but that is an opinion upon which much stress should not be laid.
In harmony with these conclusions is the evidence afforded by the mosaics found in the church- Those of the narthex are of the same character as the mosaics in S. Sophia, Constantinople, and may well have been executed under Justinian. On the other hand, the mosaics in the apse are characteristic of the iconoclastic period, the chief decoration there being a simple cross. For, as Finlay 1 has remarked, Leo the Isaurian c placed the cross on the reverse of many of his gold, silver, and copper coins, and over the gates of his palace, as a symbol for universal adoration.9 A similar iconoclastic decoration and a portion of the same verses from Psalm Ixv* formed the original decoration of the apse in S. Sophia, Salonica.
Thus also is the presence of capitals bearing the monograms of Justinian and Theodora explained, seeing those sovereigns were intimately connected with the church. And thus also is a reason suggested why those monograms face the aisles instead of the nave ; it was a position which would be assigned to them by a later restorer of the church who was 'obliged to use old material, and at the same time felt anxious to conceal the fact as much as possible, lest the glory of the previous benefactors of the church should eclipse his own renown.
The conclusion that in the present building we have
* History of the Byzantine Empire^ p. 34, Everyman Edition,